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Ringling Brothers Circus

Mystery blaze kills 186

6 Jul, 1944

A 425 feet long circus tent packed with 7,000 people burst in flames during a performance in Hartford, Connecticut. Part of the blame lays on the waterproof canvas coated in paraffin wax dissolved in gasoline.  6,000 make it out safely while 186 perish, mostly women and children. Five Ringling Bro. officials are found guilty of involuntary manslaughter.